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Welcome to Western Carolina Optical!

An independent wholesale lab helping build independent practices.


Asheville, North Carolina, is home for Western Carolina Optical, an independent wholesale laboratory. Founded in 1982 with a focus on providing quality craftsmanship and excellent service, WCO has grown its customer base by helping the independent practitioner.  "Our core emphasis is to become more of a partner with our customers realizing that the optical professionals are under pressure, particularly from the mass merchants.  Assisting them with new products, understanding new technology and services that will enhance their business and creating long-term patient satisfaction is among our goals,” according to co-owner, Gerry Shaw.  With dedicated, experienced employees, WCO is prepared to serve the optical professionals.

Featured Staff Member

We are proud to have a team of seasoned optical professionals on our staff and each month we will feature a full profile of a new staff member here. Check back soon for updates...

  • Pete MayrandPete Mayrand seemed destined for the optical industry and has remained in it since his first job out of high school 27 years ago. "I received a call from a relative who was looking for an apprentice optician.  Four years later, I received an optician license."  And from that point on Pete's focused dedication and commitment to his profession are apparent in his current position at WCO where he serves as the Lab Manager.

    "Working hands-on with machinery and tackling the challenges in providing the best ophthalmic lenses for the patient's Rx" describe Pete's mission here at Western, according to Gerry Shaw.  "Pete has been with us for 16 years, and we cannot imagine our lab without him."  

    When Pete is not at the Lab tabulating the best material, base curve or center thickness for an Rx, he can be found under the hood of an edger or working on the generator.  Every day is different and each day presents new challenges in optical; it is not boring work by any means.  "What I enjoy most about the optical industry is the constant changes in technology that only improve it," said Pete.

    Pete is a family man first and foremost.  He and Linda, whom he met in high school, celebrated 23 years together this year.  The couple have two sons, Zach, 17, and Nathan, 12.  Both boys keep their parents busy attending their baseball and basketball games.  When Pete is not at the lab he is with his family which also includes an English Bulldog, and couple cats.